Background There is a dearth of data relating UK general practice workload to personal and social markers of individual patients. Aim To test whether there is a significant association between general practice patient contact rates and the council tax valuation band of their residential address. Design of study Cross-sectional analyses using data recorded, over 1 year, for over 3300 general practice patients. Setting One medium-sized group practice in an industrialised English market town. Method Face-to-face contacts between the patients and the doctors and nurses in the practice were compared by patient age, sex, registration period, distance from surgery, Underprivileged Area 8 (UPA8) score, and council tax valuation band. Results Patient sex, age, recent registration, distance from surgery, and council tax valuation band were each significantly associated with face-to-face contact rate in univariate analyses. UPA8 score was not significantly associated with contact rates. On multivariate testing, sex, age, recent registration, and council tax valuation band remained significantly associated with contact rates. The last is a new finding. Conclusion Council tax valuation bands predict contact rate in general practice; the lower the band, the higher the contact rate. Council tax valuation band could be a useful marker of workload that is linked to socioeconomic status. This is a pilot study and multipractice research is advocated.
|Number of pages||5|
|Journal||British Journal of General Practice|
|Publication status||Published - 2005|